Apple has finally admitted to something everyone else seems to be well aware of. There is a malware program that has successfully targeted Mac computers.
It’s estimated by Dr. Web, an anti-virus company based on Russia, that as many as 650,000 Macs have been infected. Dr. Web was the first to discover that the malware trojan, named ‘Flashback,’ is attacking Mac systems.
Flashback takes advantage of a vulnerability within Java. The developer of Java, Oracle, issued an update to correct the vulnerability in other computers two months ago.
But despite warnings, and without stating a reason, Apple did not take the action required to issue an update to patch their most recent Mac operating systems, OS X v10.6 and Mac OS X v10.7, until last week.
Apple’s update does not secure earlier versions of the Mac OS. The company is advising users running Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier to protect their systems by disabling Java in their web browser preferences.
Apple now says they are in the process of developing a Flashback detector that users can use to discover if their Macs are already infected. But Apple was beaten to punch by a third party, who has already released a Mac Flashback detector on his own.